Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Saga Continues

In life, all of us have our cross to bear. For the German and I, it is our sofa. And it is getting damn heavy. In our last episode we saw how the evil furniture company, further thwarted the decorating efforts of our heroes by delivering the wrong colored sofa.

(Let me pause for a minute to say that the rust sofa is not THAT bad. However, it clashes with the other furniture and simply does not match. A few people have even said that they like it. However, I don't and it is not what I ordered, so it must go.)

I told the German to call the furniture store and tell them that I wanted 200 Euro off my total bill or else they could come and take it all away. Unfortunately, the furniture store finally returned our call on Wednesday . . . after the German learned about his Grandmother's passing and was on the way to his parent's house.

Evil Furniture Store Sales Man: I cannot possibly give you 200 Euro off the sofa. However I can give you a gift certificate for 2oo Euros. Keep the rust sofa until the correct one is delivered.

Weakened, Heroic German: Okay.

I could not really get mad at him, see. He was grieving. So, I figured, what the heck, we will wait ANOTHER 2 months. In the mean time, I will "accidentally" spill coffee on the rust sofa.

Friday morning we went downstairs to go to Oma's funeral. When I walked into the living room to do "the rounds," this is what I saw:

Please note that we almost never sit on this love seat!! It just fell apart. On its own. The German thinks that it is protesting . . . something.

Before we went to the funeral we called the store. The German said that they could come and pick everything up. We want nothing more to do with them. The salesman told us that he could not make these kinds of decisions and told us to come in and speak to the manager / owner. And so we did.

Saturday we went to the Evil furniture store. Sadly, we knew that we were in a weak bargaining position. Turns out that suppliers have more rights in Germany than buyers. Suppliers have a right to solve the problem. But, dude, seriously. They delivered late. They delivered the wrong thing. The furniture started to fall apart after two weeks. Three strikes and you're out.

When we arrived at the store they called out the manager / owner. I swear to God, I almost fell over. The guy who walked over to us had messy hair, blue jeans, and his button down shirt was hanging half way out. He shook our hands and we started to talk. This entire conversation took place in the foyer of the customer service department. I finally sat down in a chair and the dude did not offer us a cup of coffee or anything!!

We explained how disappointed we were. His explanation was:

"There is not much I can do about it. As long as humans produce things, then mistakes will be made." He stared at us as if to say, "What are you complaining about?"

Wow. That is the dumbest excuse I have ever heard. The next time I screw up at work, I think I will use that one.

For once, the German was the one about to blow up and I was the calm one. After the manager explaining to us for 5 minutes about how humans make mistakes, I finally interjected. "This is all fine and good, but I want to know how you are going to fix the problem."

He agreed to send someone to fix it Tuesday (i.e. today). "Should be real simple. No problem."

Claire (in her most reasonable teacher tone): "Fine. You fix the sofa. I want my correct sofa by mid-April. If these things do not happen, then I will no longer be amused and will have to take further action."

Manager: "Yes, I understand."

The repair man came today and looked at the sofa and shook his head. He could not fix it. No "real simple." They took the sofa away and we "should" have it back Saturday.

Seriously, how much more can this go on??


J said...

You were cooler than I would have been in that situation. The manager said "Yes, I understand" just to get you to leave is my guess.

I hope I'm wrong, but I predict that you won't have the sofa by mid-April.

Frankly, I'm appalled that they sent you the wrong sofa and blamed it on the manufacturer! Surely someone should have noticed on the purchase order!

Dixie said...

There's no excuse for this. None. I'd have had that manager's head for this.

And this is why I don't buy furniture or large appliances/electronics from small companies.

Years ago my husband found on Media Markt's website a TV we'd been looking at selling for 1900DM. I went in to Media Markt with the ad and the TV advertised in the ad was being sold for 2700DM - still a very good price because this particular TV at at that time sold normally for 3500DM. I told the salesman that I wanted it for 1900DM because that's what they advertised it for online. He told me the online ad was an error and I could only have it for 2700DM - take it or leave it. I asked to speak to a manager and the salesman rudely told me the manager was busy and he had the authority to make this decision. I ended up taking the TV for the 2700DM because I wouldn't get it cheaper anywhere else and I really wanted it.

But it didn't end there. I told my husband what went on and how rudely I was treated and he wrote a letter to the management of Media Markt telling them what happened, how rudely I was treated and we emphasized that we spend a lot of money in that store every year. I figured I'd get an apology and maybe a gift certificate to spend there. A few weeks later we got a letter from the store manager where I'd bought the TV asking me to come in and pick up the difference in what I paid for the TV and what the online ad showed it selling for - that they did make an error in the online ad and they would accept responsibility for it and when I came to pick up the cash the manager apologized to me about 500 times.

Don't lay down for this, especially if the sloppy dude is the owner of this store. A small store like this cannot stand to have a bad reputation. Write down everything that happened and who you talked to and when and what was promised and if they don't make good on their promises, go straight to whomever your local government station is - WDR or N3 or whomever - they likely have some consumer protection show. Heck go to RTL or Sat1 if you have to. They love to ask stores like this why they're treating customers like crap. Oh, and report this to the Verbraucherzentrale as well.

Carrie said...

Hrm- well in the states, at this point we would be calling the new stations, newspapers, BBB and a number of other places that might listen to what I had to say. We would also be writing nasty comments online and contacting "corporate" to complain. And still then it would be a 50/50 chance we'd get a resolution. Good luck with your sofa!

Anonymous said...

Is the saga still continuing???
Do you think any progress will be made in the near future? There are lots of things I could say to you, but I don't think this is the place for it. However, I must say that by your last few entries, I gather that your religious life is not being tended to. You really need help there.

Love, Grandpa